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This wee beauty started life as th 1:48 scaleAeroclub kit which I modified to represent the RCAF version.  Modifications included landing gear, wing root fillets, removal of those ugly anti-spin strakes, exhaust and of course the canopy.  This last was vac-formed using a balsa master and .040" PETG.

 

The finish is a mix of Alclad II paint.  As much as possible I used the original aircraft for the mods.

 

Barney

 

DHC-1Chipmunk031.jpg

 

DHC-1Chipmunk029.jpg

 

DHC-1Chipmunk025.jpg

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Great job!

Even in 1/48, A Chipmunk must not be much bigger than a P-47 in 1/72.... The landing gear looks really flimsy, and it gives it a certain charm.

To be honest I have never been very keen on the canopy mod the Canadians went for, but having said that, your kit is really delightful!

 

Congrats are in order!

JR

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Thanks for the comments JR.

When the prototype Chipmunk was test flown, the aircraft had the much the same canopy as the British version but it was soon realized that the "birdcage" canopy was too confining and had too many blind spots because of the framing.   The big bubble provides incredible visibility.

 

Barney 

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Barney, I wouldn't dare comment on your fabulous model (I think it's so good), but may I clarify what occurred with the canopy? When evaluated at Boscombe Down, the original framed DHC-1A canopy was criticized for the lack of headroom (particularly if a helmet was worn), not visibility restrictions. In cross-section, the DHC-1A canopy was much narrower (more "pointer" at the top). This was rectified with the UK-built T.10 having a broader cross-sectioned canopy (much "squarer" at the top) plus the bulged side panels for the rear seat occupant. The first series of DHC-1B's retained the framed canopy, but with "clumpier" frames. The bubble canopy appeared with the later DHC-1B-2-S3 (ordered by the Canadian Dept of Defence for issue to aero clubs) and the ultimate -S5 (ordered for the RCAF). I hope this helps, Rod.

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Rod:  Thanks for te comments.  As for the canopy, it was incorporated in the first batch purchased by the RCAF and yes, a few of this batch went to RCFCA clubs across Canada.  I first saw the Chipmunk in June 1950 when I went to work as an apprentice wrench bender at the Windsor Flying Club.  These aircraft were as per 065 although the fin flash and roundels along with the serial were removed and the official RCAF crest was applied to the fuselage yellow band.

 

Chipmunks first went to the Flying Instructors School, RCAF Station Trenton, and Primary Flying School, RCAF Station Centralia.  The flying club aircraft were used to provide refresher training to Supplementary Reserve pilots until they were returned to RCAF service in the late 1950s...

 

Over the years I've flown many Chipmunks and when they came up for disposal in 1971 I turned down the option to buy one.  They were the nicest flying trainers that I have ever flown but a nightmare to work on...and I have the scars to prove it.

 

Best regards

Barney 

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Now that's different. 

With that bulged top and skinny legs it reminds me of a girl I once knew...........

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The gear does look flimsy but it is the same as all other Chipmunks but without the fairings.  In this part of the world the winters are long and nasty so the fairings came off to ease maintenance.  After spending nearly 3 years working on the two Chipmunks at WFC, I can not describe the nightmare of working on this type..at least not with any degree of civility.  Winter operations were terrible for he aircrew and maintainers alike when temperatures dipped to -30 C which was usually the cut off for flying operations.

 

Barney

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Being pedantic, although there was obviously RCAF involvement, the first bubble-canopied batch (DHC-1B-2-S3's) were for the Dept of National Defence. The ultimate batch (-S5's) were ordered specifically by the RCAF.

 

Note that these never had u/c fairings in the first place; they left the factory without them. Another area frequently overlooked is the different rake between Canadian-built Chipmunks and their UK (and Portuguese) brethren. The Canadian ones have more vertical legs mounted some 1.5 inches further aft, resulting in a ground contact point 3 inches aft (some sources say 4 inches). Hard to pick looking at an individual aircraft, but very obvious when they're standing together.

 

Oh Barney, can I empathize with your comments about working on the real thing - I never come home without gashes/scratches on my hands, having spent hours contorting to do a job that would take minutes in a Cessna or Beechcraft! While hindsight is a wonderful thing, you must curse yourself for not picking up one of the disposals in 1971!

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Rod:  My last encounter with the beast was trying to replace the engine oil pressure/oil temp/fuel pressure gauge in the front cockpit.  Remove the control column, throw in a couple of cushions, grip wrench between teeth and dive head first into the hell hole followed by a half roll and push up.

 

Now the above procedure was not too bad but when the OAT is 95+F and the sadistic engineer closes the canopy on you it can be very frantic trying to change the gauge as quickly as possible.

 

After that day I never touched a Chipmunk again for 20 years!  I joined the RCAF in 1953 and that same Chipmunk showed up on the west coast near Vancouver and I got to fly her one last time in about 2010..

 

The gear leg fairings on the Chipmunk were like the gear doors and spinner on the Harvard..redundant.  Thanks for your comments Rod..greatly appreciated.

 

Regards from the West Coast of Canada

Barney

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